Friday, 30 December 2016

EASY VEGAN DOUGHNUTS



































These are fried and not baked, knocking them straight into the realm of unhealthy treats. Such are the food cravings you get around this time of year before those healthy eating resolutions come knocking on January 1st (if you're that way inclined).

I made these by mixing a simple bread dough and enriching it with melted vegan margarine as opposed to the milk and eggs used in traditional doughnut recipes. You can fill the doughnuts with jam if you want, or shape them into rings. This recipe provides the basic canvas but you can be as creative as you want. Enjoy! ;)

Ingredients
makes approx. 10-12
- 1 tbsp dried yeast
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 tbsp vegan margarine (melted)
- 2.5 cups plain flour
- 4 tbsp caster sugar
- sunflower oil
- cinnamon and caster sugar, for dusting

Combine the yeast, warm water and 1 tsp of sugar. Leave aside for about 10 minutes or until the mixture becomes frothy.

Mix the melted vegan margarine with the yeast mixture and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the plain flour and 4 tbsp of caster sugar. Make a well in the middle and add the wet ingredients. Mix to form a soft dough. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm area for about an hour.

Knead the dough lightly (in the bowl) for a minute. With oiled hands, form the doughnuts (for a ring shape, use the end of a wooden spoon or your thumb to poke a whole through the middle...whatever works) and space them out on a lined baking tray. Cover and leave to rest for another 10 minutes.

In a pan, heat enough sunflower oil to deep fry the doughnuts. You'll know the oil is ready for frying when a small piece of the dough sizzles and starts to brown.

Fry the doughnuts on medium heat, flipping them round if necessary, until golden brown all over. Drain on some kitchen paper.

Sprinkle with a mixture of cinnamon and caster sugar.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

CREAMY COCONUT, CORN & SCOTCH BONNET SOUP [VIDEO]
























If you were at the last pop up, then you got to try this beautifully balanced soup. If not, no sweat... this soup was recently featured on the Radiant Health Magazine website, and you can check out the full recipe by clicking here.


Also handy is this quick tutorial video:




Wednesday, 7 December 2016

TRYING DURIAN FRUIT FOR THE FIRST TIME [VIDEO]

I'm in Singapore for the first half of December for a couple of special occasions. And while I'm here, I'm trying to experience as much of the food culture as possible. So far so good, and I look forward to sharing more about that once I have time to put all my footage and images together.

Anywho, durian was high up there on my list of things to try during this visit. After hearing so much about this polarising (and stinky!) fruit, I was curious to see on which side I would fall. When I finally got the chance...well, check out the video to peep my reaction ^_^



Tuesday, 6 December 2016

#AfricanFood Panel Discussion at Facebook HQ [VIDEO]

A week ago today (29th November 2016), I attended the #AfricanFood event hosted by Pop Up Africa and Do it Now Now (click on each link to find out more about who they are and what they do).

The event brought together a range of passionate foodies who are making their mark in the African food scene here in the UK. From foodpreneurs to bloggers, journalists and cookbook authors to TV chefs. Essentially, a glorious melting pot of like-minded creatives who want to usher our diverse African cuisines into mainstream consciousness.

And boy, was I glad to be in that room. I got to hear the unique experiences of others in the field and gathered heaps of inspiration. I left feeling encouraged and excited about the new year - both in terms of the positive direction that African cuisine in general seems to be moving, and also in terms of my own personal projects, goals and vision for The Vegan Nigerian. Once in a while, it's necessary to pause and take stock of the direction you're heading in, and this event was certainly a catalyst to that end.

The evening began with an ice-breaker where members of the audience split into teams of eight to answer African food related questions. This was followed by the main part of the event: a panel discussion to discuss a series of questions pertaining to the current state and future of African food. The third part of the evening consisted of food entrepreneurs giving short presentations about their businesses.

A few things I took away from the various discussions on the night: the importance of perseverance and consistency; the need for us to support and build each other up within this growing community; the importance of taking pride in what we do.

Below is a video with extended highlights from the evening. Hope you enjoy and take something away from it!


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

PLUM UPSIDE-DOWN MOCHA CAKE

Vegan plum upside-down cake...vegan mocha cake...there's a lot going on with this single layer of deliciousness. 

This was the product of visiting home on the day of my sister's birthday, raiding our fridge and cupboards to pool together ingredients that would result in a slightly unconventional cake. My sister loves chocolate, but I didn't want to make another run of the mill fudge/brownie number. This plum upside-down mocha (chocolate & coffee) cake, with a mocha-flavoured caramel sauce, hits all the same spots that a decadent chocolate cake would, but it's also more grown up in its flavour profile and has a lot more depth, reflecting (she says poetically) the very real, bitter-sweet awareness that my little sister is no longer a kid *sob*. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe and give it a try. Feel free to skip out on the rum/brandy for an alcohol-free version, but the subtle kick it gives though...so worth it! x

Ingredients
Cake:
- 300g self-raising flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 150g soft dark brown sugar
- 50ml strong black coffee
- 400ml tinned coconut milk
- 120ml sunflower oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp rum/brandy (optional)
- 4-5 ripe plums

Mocha caramel sauce:
- 400ml full-fat tinned coconut milk
- 100g soft dark brown sugar
- 40ml strong black coffee
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp rum/brandy (optional)

To make the cake, sift the flour into a large mixing bowl and add the cocoa powder and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, add the black coffee, coconut milk, sunflower oil, vanilla extract, and rum/brandy (optional) and whisk together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold gently, being careful not to over mix. 

Line the base of a round springform cake tin with a round piece of baking paper. Grease the sides of the tin with a little sunflower oil.

Core the plums, discarding the seeds in the middle, and slice into rings. 

Arrange the plum rings onto the base of the cake tin, fitting as much or as little of it as you desire.

Pour the cake batter over the plums. Bake in a pre-heated oven, 170C, for 25 minutes. To check that the cake is cooked at the centre, stick a skewer in the centre and make sure it comes out clean.

Allow the cake to cool before taking it out of the tin, turning it upside down and peeling back the baking paper to reveal the plum design.

To make the mocha caramel sauce, place all the sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir occasionally and keep an eye to make sure that it doesn't burn, but essentially you want to boil it until the sauce starts to reduce down and thicken. This should take approximately 15-20 minutes. You'll know it's ready when the sauce coats the back of a spoon when you dip it in and out. 

Decorate the cake as you wish, drizzling a generous amount of the sauce over the top. I've also used slices of fresh plum, freeze-dried fruits, and a little sprinkling of crushed granola. Be as creative as you want! It also goes great with coconut ice-cream ;)








Friday, 18 November 2016

THE VEGAN NIGERIAN CHRISTMAS DINNER *15/12/16*

*Advanced booking required*

It's the last Vegan Nigerian pop-up restaurant of the year and the festive season is upon us. What better way to round off the year than with a delectable three-course meal? 
Expect mouth-watering food, Christmas tunes, and the usual warm atmosphere. Share, invite...would love to see you there :) <3 

Any special dietary requirements? Email: vegannigerian@gmail.com 

Menu
Starter: Coconut, sweetcorn and scotch bonnet soup (gf) 
Main: Roasted stuffed pepper; baked sweet potatoes; carrot, fennel & mint salad; gravy (gf) 
Dessert: Christmas cake with pineapple/orange compote and whipped coconut cream

When: 15th December 2016, 7.30pm
Where: Paradise Unbakery, 59 Chamberlayne Road, London, NW10 3ND

Eventbrite - The Vegan Nigerian Christmas Dinner



Thursday, 10 November 2016

POP-UP RESTAURANT #6 IN PICTURES























It's been almost two weeks since the last pop-up restaurant and although I've shared updates across other platforms, I'm only just getting round to posting on here. Is it just me or does the increasingly cold weather inspire extreme bouts of procrastination? Simple tasks suddenly seem to require epic levels of strength and motivation to get done. Anyway, better late than never...

The most recent pop-up was in the style of a buffet - that much-loved format that makes life oh so easy - featuring jollof rice as the lead, supported by a bunch of salads, mountains of plantain and sauces to liven things up. Desert was a trio of chocolate/almond cake, lime tart, and apple/ginger spiced puff puff.

A lot of firsts at this one:
- A collaboration. With the wonderful sugarcane juice company Guarapo, who supplied us with fresh, cold-pressed sugarcane juice infused with lime and ginger. It was the perfect accompaniment to the meal.
- A weekend event. At last, after requests to host a pop-up on a Saturday, finally got round to it.
- A new location. In South West London, to be exact. Slowly but surely, the pop-up is making its way around the capital. From West to North West to South West. Next time, East?
- A professional team. Not that my family and friends haven't been professional at previous events - ha! What I mean is, the Vegan Nigerian team is growing slowly and I had the help of new hired team members to make the evening go smoothly.

The next event will most likely be a Christmas-themed dinner and I am so excited to put together the menu for that! Stay tuned for more info and head over to Facebook and Instagram for more of my stuff!








































Thursday, 3 November 2016

LONDON VEGFEST 2016 RECAP [VIDEOS + PICTURES]

Saturday: Cookery Demos, Collaborations and the Search for Food

Crazy to think that a whole year has gone by since the last London VegFest and my first stint at delivering a live cookery demo. VegFest was back again at Olympia on October 22nd and 23rd, though this time in a different and, in my opinion, far better area of the building. It was more spacious, the demo area seemed better equipped...just a general upgrade from the congested atmosphere of last year. As a result, I stuck around long enough to enjoy various aspects of the two-day event - sampling most of the food on offer (this worked out much better on Sunday when the queues were not as insane), taking in a couple of other cookery demos, attending a handful of informative talks, watching an eccentric live band perform, and discovering what's new on the vegan market. I met up with friends I hadn't seen in a while, encountered new faces, and bumped into familiar ones from the virtual world of food blogging and instagram.

Following my demo (filmed by my brother, see video below), I put my director's hat on and filmed a promotional video for the vegan patisserie company Organic Livity (video also below). This was another first for me and I am thankful for the opportunity to collaborate on something so fun and creative.





Towards the end of the day, I also filmed my friend Elisabeth (@nutrinformed) as she showcased three delicious vegan buckwheat recipes (video below).



Sunday: Talks, Overeating and Pro-Intersectionality

Sunday was more laid back. A day of stress-free and guilt-free cake guzzling, pizza eating and vegan cheese tasting (to name a few things), all sandwiched between talks at the pro-intersectional vegan conference. One particularly brilliant talk was delivered by journalist and media coach Katrina Fox (via Skype) on the topic of Intersectionality & Business. I've included a clip of that in the video below, and you can find out more about her work via katrinafox.com.
I have to give a big shout-out to VegFest for shining a spotlight on intersectionality this year. Veganism ought to be a nuanced movement, and there is so much that we can all learn when it comes to pursuing the vegan lifestyle in a more ethical, people-focused (alongside animal-focused) manner.










Tuesday, 11 October 2016

VEGAN FOOD AT BRICK LANE MARKET [VIDEO]

Who knew? Brick Lane Sunday market (in East London) is a hotspot for vegan street food and cake stands. From the wonderful @youngvegans to the delightful @organiclivity, this short video highlights some of my favourite finds...



And a few snapshots...

Vegan street food - @youngvegans

Burritos!

Beautiful...raw cake by @organiclivity

Eye-catching
Brownies...I got my fix

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

PARADISE UNBAKERY [VEGAN CAFE]



It's not everyday that a vegan cafe opens up in your neighbourhood, and I can't tell you how excited I am to share this find with you.
What: vegan cafe serving raw and cooked vegan meals, sweet treats, and beverages. They also provide catering/delivery services, workshops & events, and celebration cakes to order.
Where: 59 Chamberlayne Rd, London NW10 3ND.

Did you know: there will be a London Vegan Bloggers and Vloggers meetup at Paradise Unbakery on  Saturday October 15th. I will be there. If you're a vegan blogger/vlogger, come along too! :)


I first encountered Paradise Unbakery as a raw vegan stall at Brighton Vegfest back in 2015. I remember stopping to stare and marvel at the intricately designed raw cakes and the tempting display of raw vegan pizzas and tarts. Fast forward to early September 2016 and a friend casually mentions the opening of a new vegan cafe called Paradise Unbakery. I recognised the name instantly. When I looked it up and saw that it was a stone's throw away from where I live, I already had my mind set on visiting.


*

When I walk into Paradise Unbakery for the first time, I am immediately floored by the bright setting and charming decor. It is beautifully furnished with floral touches and pastel shades. I immediately think: "excellent workspace" (and I have since been back with a friend to do some work/reading there - with drinks and cakes for sustenance, of course. See images further below). There is a food photography session going on at the back of the cafe and Egle, the brain behind the establishment, looks occupied but still comes over to say hello.


After a quick introduction, I take my time ordering a salad from the deli display. The salads are colourful and inviting; there's variety - from avocado to beetroot to sweet potatoes and broccoli... an abundance of vegetables jump out at me. I settle on a combination of a green bean salad, an avocado salad, an artichoke salad, and though my salad bowl selection calls for three options, I am kindly offered a fourth choice and so pick some baked sweet potato wedges.



Lunch!
























I settle down to my tasty salad and fresh juice, and when I am done, Egle comes over to have a chat. I've come with lots of questions and she kindly and generously answers each one.

@paradise_unbakery

@So meet Egle, founder and owner of Paradise Unbakery. Originally from Lithuania, she reveals that after moving to the UK with her family, she actually spent most of her formative years in the Kensal Green area. Years later, she never imagined that she would end up owning an establishment in the same vicinity.


Egle's background is in textile design (and you can tell from the aesthetically pleasing look of her raw cakes), but it was her sweet tooth and a desire to enjoy healthy versions of some of the desserts she loved that led her down the path of creating sweet vegan treats. Although vegan herself for over 10 years, she only started Paradise Unbakery a couple of years ago, taking her creations to food fairs and festivals around the UK. Like most food entrepreneurs starting out, she always hoped for a cafe of her own some day. What an accomplishment to have turned this dream into reality! When she shares the full story of how she came about acquiring the cafe space - purely from being at the right place at the right time - I am simultaneously gobsmacked and inspired. 

According to Egle, the local response to Paradise Unbakery has been mixed, though mainly optimistic. On the negative end of the spectrum, she's been confronted by someone claiming that the cafe is 'taking options away' from the community (whatever that means!) and yet another insisting more than a couple of times that they add 'a little chicken or fish' to the deli selection. Similarly, a few locals have found it difficult to warm up to the vegan milk alternatives used in the teas, coffees and other hot drinks. But Egle is not discouraged, and she shouldn't be. There has been an abundance of positive feedback from vegans and non-vegans alike, and I am glad to add my voice to the mix. 

Finally, I ask what her all time favourite raw dessert to make and eat is and she answers this easily: cherry and chocolate. She reaches for a recipe book and opens it to reveal the image of a beautiful cherry-chocolate dessert, adding that anything containing chocolate is a winner. I couldn't agree more!























If you get the chance while you're out and about in London, do make your way over to Paradise Unbakery. Let's support this new vegan venture!





Paradise Unbakery flyer


Blueberry cheesecake


2nd visit: work, work, work...and coffee and lemon poppyseed cheesecake
Close-up

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